Portsmouth have been dealt a major transfer blow as “excellent” defender Jack Whatmough has signed for League One rivals Wigan Athletic.
Wigan Athletic have https://twitter.com/LaticsOfficial/status/1400859923274211333officially announced the signing of Whatmough and the centre-back will join up with the Tics at the start of July.
This comes after BBC journalist Chris Wise claimed the 24-year-old has decided to sign for Leam Richardson’s Latics and will leave Pompey at the end of the month. He is out of contract this summer and has opted against signing an extension with Portsmouth to remain at Fratton Park.
Wise has claimed that Wigan were able to offer a more attractive package to Whatmough than Portsmouth, both in terms of the finances involved and the length of the deal.
Former Pompey defender Paul Robinson, who currently works as a coach at Millwall, recently spoke about Whatmough’s quality. He labelled the 24-year-old an “excellent” defender at League One level and commended his hard work and determination.
Robinson told The News: “What he has shown is what he has always shown on the pitch – that determination and hard work to get himself back fit and get back out there. When he does that, he’s a really good player and one Portsmouth will be gutted to lose.
Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley will be gutted by this news as it means that he is losing one of his top performers from the 2020/21 campaign. Whatmough ended the season on a WhoScored rating of 6.86 in League One, with only three Portsmouth players ahead of him in the rankings. Tom Naylor, Sean Raggett and Ronan Curtis were the only Pompey men who outperformed him, highlighting the defender’s importance to Cowley’s squad and why his potential exit is a big blow.
The 24-year-old particularly impressed when starting at centre-back. In his 31 starts in that role, he averaged a WhoScored rating of 6.91, with a couple of substitute appearances and a showing at full-back taking the overall average down to 6.86. He won 1.6 tackles and made 1.1 interceptions, 3.8 clearances and 0.7 blocks per game in League One, showing his strong defensive skillset at this level.
Cowley is now watching one of his best players walk out of the door and join one of their League One rivals in Wigan, which could be all the more frustrating as the defender is not making a step up. It could be a different story if a Championship or Premier League team were offering Whatmough the chance to leap up a division or two.
Instead, Portsmouth are allowing one of their competitors to improve whilst weakening their own squad.